Friday, December 01, 2006

Oh, No! (alternately titled "Happy Clean Slate")

I've been mulling over Autum's recent post entitled "To Blog Or Not To Blog..." It was, for me, a very timely posting.

November just seemed to have a lot going on in it, and I got behind in my blogging. Really behind. And by the month's end, I was beginning to feel overwhelmed.

Now, it is not unusual for me to get behind on posting, I do that all the time. Also, it's not uncommon for me to be behind in replying to comments*. That's pretty much the norm around here. But I found that I was getting behind in my reading of blogs - and what with it being NaBloPoMo and all, the amount of stuff that I wanted to read was piling up alarmingly.

And, oddly enough, it was starting to feel stressful!
I'd look at Bloglines, and I would see that "BloggerILoveToRead" had new content - bringing the number of unread entries from that blog alone up into the twenties. And I would leave the new message unread, because I knew I didn't have time to read all twenty-something, and then I felt sad because I didn't know what BILTR was up to. Crazy, huh?

So, Autum's post really was a thought-provoking one for me. Why was I letting something that I enjoy cause me to feel stressed? And guilty? I wanted to reply to Autum's post, but didn't simply because I couldn't quite work through it all. (Then, of course, came the guilt at not commenting at one of my favorite blogs...)

How to stop the madness? Two things came to the rescue...

The first was I stumbled across a wonderful post by Alicia at Posie Gets Cozy. I am sure that most of you have already read it and know to what I am alluding, but if not here it is. She says it far, far, far more eloquently than I could ever hope to - but I loved the idea that the whole point of the "blog thing" is to do what you can, when you can, and in a way that makes you happy. So simple, so dead on. How had I forgotten this???

The second thing happened a short while ago. I actually carved out an hour or so of time - I even blocked it in on my To-Do list - in which I was going to sit and read and get caught up on blogs. I suspected I would barely make a dent in the number of unread posts, but by George, I was going to try.

Until I clicked on something. Something wrong...

I have no idea what it was, but it was obviously the wrong thing. Because voila! everything was now marked as read.

"Oh No!" I cried out - all the posts that I had been watching pile up all month long gone! I now had no idea just how many new posts awaited me at "BloggerILoveToRead", etc. "Oh, No!" This was horrible....

Or was it?

I didn't mean to do it**, but as soon as the "Oh, No!" moment passed, it was replaced with the "This Could Be Good" moment.

This could be good.
It's a clean slate.
No more guilt at the number of wonderful, clever, thoughtprovoking things that I was "behind" on.

I can start anew.
And this time, I'm going to remember Alicia's words.

Happy Clean Slate...

*And yes, I do know that I do not have to respond to each and every comment that comes in. No one expects me to do that. Except for me.
Even though there are a number of blogs I visit and comment upon regularly - blogs where I am sure the author has no idea who I am and has never replied.
I am totally fine with that - I just like to let people know what I've enjoyed about their blog, so I comment. There are honestly no expectations of reciprocity.
But when it comes to BadFortuneCookie, it's something that I want to do. If I can find an email address for you, I'm going to try to respond. It's just probably going to be really late... :)

**Unless it was my subconscious self, stepping in and rescuing me...


Angela said...

A clean slate is good...and I hear ya on all that feeling behind, guilt at not reading/responding...oy. Alicia is a smart lady.

capello said...

yeah, i've been noticing myself spending way too much time on the computer feeling like i HAVE to read and i HAVE to comment on everything.

i'm trying to pair down, not comment on everyone's as much (well, not every-one, every-one, most-of-ones are more like it). because i want it to be enjoyable, not a chore.

autum said...

I hope you read mine before your cleaned the slate!
Just kidding ;)
This stress stuff must be contagious, there's a lot of it going around. Or do you thing it's holiday related? This time of year ONE. MORE. THING!!! can seem overwhelming, even if it's one thing we enjoy.
Listen to the wise Miss Posie, do what you can, when you can...enjoy.

autumnospeller said...

Not do you thing... do you think?

editrix said...

Did you know that you can mark all posts as new in Bloglines (in viewing pane, in the blue bar at the top)? Not to knock your clean slate, but you can always use the dropdown at the bottom to display posts from the past X hours/days and then mark all new.

beki said...

Yes, this whole blog thing can get stressful. I'm finding myself there now. When I look at my bloglines I start toi freak out a bit. Not good. I really need to sit down and think about which blogs are important to me, and just conentrate on those.